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Valmeyer in Monroe County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Fountain, Illinois

Kaskaskia Cahokia Trail

 
 
Fountain, Illinois Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Thomas Smith, August 18, 2022
1. Fountain, Illinois Marker
Inscription.  
The earliest structures in the area of Fountain were two brick homes built by George Atcheson. Daniel Shook came to the area from Pennsylvania and operated a blacksmith shop there and farmed. When the railroad came through in the early 1900's, the store at the Eagle Cliff moved to be near the railroad station, and the small settlement took the name Fountain because of Fountain Creek which which flowed nearby.

"Eagle Cliff" was a large settlement at the base of the bluff near Fountain Creek (so called because of the nesting eagles on the nearby bluff). The post office of Eagle Cliff opened in July 1842 and closed in June 1867. Mail was exchanged in the Eagle Cliff store. Stephen Miles was the architect of Eagle Cliff, with most of the construction completed by Isaac Eberman. The settlement also had a tavern, general store, implement shop, blacksmith shop and grain elevator.

Miles owned a lot of property in the area, and he would stand on the bluff and say, "For miles and miles, it all belongs to Miles." When Stephen Miles died in 1858, he was buried in a stone and marble mausoleum at the top of the bluffs overlooking
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his landholdings. The tomb contained spots for 56 vault burials, and reportedly cost $10,000 to complete at the time of construction. Through the years vandals broke into the mausoleum and defaced the front of the monument with spray paint and graffiti. In recent years a group of volunteers led by the Cemetery's Board of Directors, has cleaned and stabilized the structure, and brought it back to its original glory.

The home of Stephen Miles, constructed in 1844, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978, but due to a lack of funds for preservation and restoration, the structure was demolished by its owners in 1981.

The first school was built in the community in 1880. The Miles Prairie School District 43 opened a new school in 1925, south of Fountain off Bluff Road; this school served the area until 1951. Its first teacher was Mathilda Schilling, and its last was Thelma Hess.

The grain elevator at Fountain would become the railroad receiving station for the Schoening and Koenigsmark Mills. After cooperative elevators were built in Fults, Columbia, Maeys Station and Waterloo, the grain elevator and receiving station at Fountain were eventually closed.

For many years the bald eagle had disappeared from the landscape, but large pools of standing water following the 1993 flood, provided food for bald eagles, and gave them
Fountain, Illinois Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Thomas Smith, August 18, 2022
2. Fountain, Illinois Marker
a reason to return. Trees along Fountain Creek have provided nesting habitat, and one particular bald eagle pair has produced multiple offspring for many years.

Through the years customers remained faithful to the small but friendly Fountain Tavern, and that tavern remains open in Fountain. The Stuckmeyer family brightens the landscape with the products of their vegetable, plant and flower farm.
 
Erected by Kaskaskia Cahokia Trail.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AgricultureIndustry & CommerceRailroads & StreetcarsSettlements & SettlersWaterways & Vessels. A significant historical year for this entry is 1867.
 
Location. 38° 21.861′ N, 90° 17.457′ W. Marker is in Valmeyer, Illinois, in Monroe County. Marker is on Fountain Road just east of Levee Road, on the right when traveling east. Located at Fountain Tavern. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1719 Fountain Rd, Waterloo IL 62298, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Bond (approx. 0.9 miles away); Eagle Cliff - Miles Cemetery (approx. 1.6 miles away); Mr. and Mrs. Eugene D. Nims Country Place (approx. 3.6 miles away in Missouri); Valmeyer Community Heritage Society (approx. 3.9 miles away); Kimmswick Historic Flooding
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(approx. 3.9 miles away in Missouri); Windsor Harbor Road Bridge (approx. 3.9 miles away in Missouri); El Camino Real (approx. 4 miles away in Missouri); Louis E. Miller (approx. 4.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Valmeyer.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 25, 2022. It was originally submitted on August 22, 2022, by Thomas Smith of Waterloo, Ill. This page has been viewed 276 times since then and 132 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 22, 2022, by Thomas Smith of Waterloo, Ill. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.

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Jul. 22, 2024